Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds motorists to share road with motorcyclists, bicyclists

Raquel Harrington reports.
Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 4:00 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As we begin making the transition into spring, Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), Sergeant Michael McClure urges drivers to start adjusting to see more bicyclists and motorcyclists on the roads.

Motorcyclists have the same rights as other vehicles when on the road. In most cases, bicyclists do too, which is why everyone needs to take necessary cautions.

“It’s incumbent upon every operator that whether it’s a motorcyclist or other vehicle is to responsibly and respectfully share the road with each other,” said Sgt. McClure.

Motorcycle Safety:

Nearly 10-percent of all traffic fatalities involve motorcycles, yet they only represent less than three percent of all registered vehicles in the state. Sgt. McClure said that equates to motorcycles having zero protection in a collision. Therefore adjusting to them being back on the roads is vital to keep everyone safe.

Sgt. McClure said as warmer weather comes, so dos the bikes, and with them being low and narrow profile vehicles, it can be challenging to spot them. Especially after, going months without hardly seeing motorcycles on the roadways.

McClure says it’s vital that drivers be more vigilant on what they see, particularly at intersections.

“As we’re driving to make sure we recognize our natural blind spots and to actually move our heads to the left and right more than once and to check those blind spots more thoroughly when we have a potential motorcycle that’s passing us,” said Sgt. McClure.

Bicycle Safety:

Patrick Winstead is General Manager at A&B Cycle in Springfield. He said the industry is predicting one of its busiest seasons yet. While more cyclists are expected to be out on the roadways and trails, he said it’s a great time to review necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

Although it’s NOT required by law, helmets are one of the best defensive lines to protecting yourself. As 70-80-percent of fatal bicycle accident involves head injuries.

“There’s a lot of new technology in bike helmets now. So they’re a lot safer now than they were even a few years ago,” explained Winstead.

MSHP statistics show bicycle helmets are 85-88-percent effective in reducing total head and brain injuries. Every “approved” helmet contains a dense liner that crushes and absorbs most of the energy upon an impact during a bicycle collision.

Bikes must also have the proper equipment, including a front-facing white light, rear-facing reflectors, and reflective materials on each side so it’s visible at 300 feet. One way to staying safe on the roads and trails is being seen by motorists.

“You just need to be aware of cyclist and give cyclists a little bit more extra space and just be patient,” explained Winstead.

He said cyclists need to follow the rules of the road as well.

" If everybody follows the rules, it’s safer for everybody,” said Winstead.

Sgt. McClure agreed and said motorists have to share the roads and cyclists need to do their part to stay safe.

“For cyclist Going with the flow of Traffic is state law, and it’s important to be reminded that if you are using Missouri Roadways as a bicyclist that hand signals while turning and stopping is still mandatory.” said Sgt. McClure.

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